SIX BEST SKI PANTS
12th November 2018 | Alf Alderson
Last modified on May 18th, 2020
O’NEILL JONES 2L SYNC PANT £184.99 www.oneill.com
The Jones 2L is a top value option that comes in men’s and women’s styles and has pretty much all the essential features you need in a pair of ski pants.
That said they do have a warm, soft insulated lining, so may not suit if you’re after a shell.
But if you feel the cold, or simply want a pair of insulated ski pants, the Jones is a great option.
Features include fully taped seams and four-way stretch fabric using recycled materials, along with 20k waterproofing and breathability and nano-DWR treatment to further keep water/snow on the outside.
There are plenty of pockets – two zippered handwarmer pockets, a poppered rear and thigh pocket and a second zippered side pocket, and you also get zippered, meshed side vents.
The Jones is rounded off with a useful combination of belt loops and Velcro waist adjusters, snow gaiters and a Recco reflector.
Given the price it’s being picky to suggest cuff gaiters would have been useful too – and maybe a zip rather than poppers for the back pocket.
VERDICT Great value ski pants with all the essential features.
CMP MAN SALOPETTES £219.95 www.cmp.campagnolo.it
If you’re looking at getting into ski touring/mountaineering and are after a budget pair of pants this offering from Italian brand CMP is well worth checking out.
They come with a warm, detachable bib which has a small zipped pocket, and the brace can also be detached.
The pants themselves feature a waterproof and breathable shell fabric and have large belt loops and Velcro waist adjusters, and the fit is quite loose.
You only get two pockets, one on the thigh and one on the rear (both zippered), but there are full-length leg zips which means you can get them on and off without having to remove boots or crampons.
The bottom of the pants have the biggest reinforced hems I’ve ever seen – it stretches all the way from knee to hem.
There are also adjustable boot gaiters of course – these look a little flimsy, but that’s the only minor niggle in otherwise very good value ski touring/mountaineering pants.
VERDICT Good value, good range of features, although the boot gaiters could maybe be more substantial.
Helly Hansen Sogn pants £160 www.hellyhansen.com *BEST BUY
The Sogn has a relaxed fit and comes in a variety of colourways as loud or as muted as you like, so this, along with a reasonable price, will give them plenty of appeal for everyone from piste cruisers to backcountry bandits.
They’re also pretty lightweight and not at all bulky considering that they feature Primaloft insulation in the seat and knees.
The weather is further kept at bay thanks to durable, waterproof and breathable ‘Helly Tech Protection 2L’ outer fabric which is also seam sealed and DWR treated.
A high back helps keep your lower back and kidneys warm, and there’s a good range of pockets – two zippered handwarmers, two rear pockets with flaps and poppers and a single cargo pocket with flap and Velcro fastening (I’d have preferred zips on all the pockets as they keep snow out better in a wipeout).
You also get zippered vents on the inside of the legs.
The hems have only minimal scuff protection and neither the boot gaiters nor the hems are adjustable but given the price of the Sogn that’s no big deal really.
VERDICT Good looking, fully functional pants with lots of appeal.
ARC’TERYX RUSH LT £410 www.arcteryx.com
The Rush LT has been designed specifically for backcountry skiing and as such is lightweight (575g), has a loose, articulated cut and features a low bib and braces to help keep out snow.
The pants use Gore-Tex fabric with a backing of Gore-C-Knit, which offers better breathability and softness, and the lower leg is reinforced with tough Gore-Tex N150p 3L fabric to guard against ski and crampon cuts and scuffs.
You get a small, zippered security pocket on the bib and a cargo pocket on each leg, one with a zip and one with a flap and Velcro fastening (which won’t be 100 per cent snow-proof).
It also has generous venting zips on either side (that on the right extends all the way from the top pf the bib to the knee).
The Rush LT both looks good and performs well, albeit at a price, and not surprisingly goes well with the Arc’teryx Rush LT jacket which we’ve also reviewed this season.
VERDICT Great all-round ski pants for backcountry enthusiasts, but pricey.
BLACK DIAMOND RECON £280 www.eublackdiamondequipment.com
The award-winning Recon is a burly ski pant aimed very much as the backcountry brigade.
The tough four-way stretch ‘BD.dry’ fabric moves with you and the cut is loose enough to give plenty of freedom of movement as well as allowing for layering on colder days.
It is, of course, a waterproof and breathable fabric to keep you dry on deep turns and storm days.
There’s the option of large belt loops or an integrated and removable belt to keep everything in place, below which are two large zippered cargo pockets, the right one of which features Black Diamond’s novel and updated low-profile transceiver storage pocket on the inside; there’s also an integrated RECCO reflector for additional avalanche protection.
The relatively simple design if finished off with side vents, ¼-leg zip boot access, tough instep patches to guard against ski edges and crampon points and high mounted snow gaiters to keep out the snow.
It all makes for a well-designed, bombproof pair of ski pants for backcountry action.
VERDICT Some of the best backcountry ski pants around, although a couple more pockets wouldn’t go amiss.
HAGLOFS LIM TOURING PROOF PANTS £220 www.haglofs.com
As you might expect from a pair of pants designed specifically for ski touring, the LIM Touring Proof pants are lightweight and feature just the bare essentials, but enough to ensure a comfortable day on your touring skis, especially if you’re really putting out on those climbs.
The four-way stretch laminate eco-friendly Bluesign approved fabric provides excellent mobility and uses fluorocarbon-free waterproofing and windproofing to keep the weather at bay, whilst the light weight prevents overheating.
Waist adjustment is via an elasticated Velcro strap – once again, no belt loops to keep weight down – and beneath this is a single zippered thigh pocket and side ventilation zippers.
The hems feature leg zippers with adjustable gussets, laminated internal lower leg gaiters with silicone grips to keep out snow and a decent-sized scuff guard.
VERDICT Basic, well-designed ski touring pants with plenty of eco-friendly features.
Some of these Ski Pants are for sale on the Ellis Brigham website – Click here to browse through Ski Pants.
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